According to The Testudo Times, Maryland is now offering their student-athletes life-time scholarships called the "The Maryland Way Guarantee".
Beginning in November of 2014-15, ‘The Maryland Way Guarantee' will provide all incoming student-athletes with a multi-year scholarship guarantee. Pursuant to this program, should a student-athlete exhaust his or her eligibility prior to graduating, Maryland will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation. If a student-athlete is injured and unable to compete, we will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation.
This is great news, because it will push the idea that the NCAA has been trying to push, that school is really what these kids are here for. It's true, being a student-athletes has it's privileges, but at the same time they work incredibly hard. Many student athletes are under pressure to provide for their families, and they pursue a professional career. Which, as we all know, doesn't always work out. A scholarship promoting them to finish out school, whether it be in four years or 25 years, is fantastic.
Fellow CRFF contributor, Taylor York, suggested that if Oklahoma State was to offer a lifetime scholarship, they should call it "The Larry Mahsetky Act". In case you don't remember, Oklahoma State narrowly avoided punishment by the NCAA for a low APR score just as fall camp began. The Cowboys received a pardon from the NCAA when it was discovered Larry Mahsetky, an Oklahoma State football player in the 1990's, had recently graduated. It raised the Pokes APR the one point needed to avoid sanction.
The bottom line is encouraging former athletes to come back and finish their degrees is simply the right thing to do, but if a university needs a little extra encouragement to do so, just think about how it could help keep the NCAA and their threat of APR punishments off the doorstep.